The Internet is filled with multiple news and blogs about losing weight. A simple Google search of 'How to lose weight' or 'Easy ways to lose weight' can give you hundreds and thousands of articles pointing towards multiple ways of losing weight. However, there is a lot of misinformation present on the Internet about health and losing weight by following a particular diet. At Satvic Foods, it is our responsibility to provide you with the right information for having a healthy life and choosing healthier food that will provide you with all the right nutrients.
Today, we have a clinical dietician, consulting nutritionist, and diabetes educator, Ms. Harakh Baxi, from Vadodara, Gujarat. Ms. Baxi has completed her graduation from MS University in nutrition and completed her post-graduation from Mumbai. Ms. Baxi has been a practitioner nutritionist since 2020 and is currently running the Outpatient Department (OPD) for a diabetologist in Vadodara. Ms. Baxi also runs a firm in Vadodara called Lettuce Eat With Harakh, where they believe that one should not restrict themselves when it comes to having food. The mantra of Ms. Baxi’s firm is ‘Let Us Eat, Wisely.’
Satvic Foods got the opportunity to have a quick telephonic conversation with Ms. Baxi, where we tried to decode some of the myths about the diet plan and how one can have a healthy life just by following a homemade diet.
(The following interview is conducted over a telephonic conversation between Mr. Viraj Mahajan from Satvic Foods and Harakh Baxi on April 1, 2022. Some of the statements have been modified to provide a narrative structure. However, the zest of the interview remains the same.)
Satvic Foods: Hello, Ms. Baxi. Thank you for giving us your valuable time.
Ms. Baxi: It is my pleasure.
Satvic Foods: Ms. Baxi, before we dive into all the misinformation that currently swirls on the Internet, we need to understand what kind of patients you handle on a day-to-day basis?
Ms. Baxi: We have patients of all clinical diseases, like diabetes, hypertension, and heart diseases. Post COVID-19, people are so much aware of their general health that they know the importance of nutrition. So, they come to us mainly to lose weight organically. Most of the time, we handle patients that come to us due to some medical conditions.
Satvic Foods: You talked about COVID-19 and how it has led everyone to think twice about their eating habits. Would you please tell us your perspective when it comes to awareness and how COVID-19 has somehow changed our lifestyles?
Ms. Baxi: People these days are extremely aware of their lifestyle, particularly the food intact. Everyone around us is self-conscious about what they should eat and what they should avoid because, to be honest, no one knows the future. So, people want to make changes to their current diet plans -- even if they are small changes so that they can prepare their immune system for the future.
Satvic Foods: We agree with you. These days we all wish to know what we are eating and why we eat that particular thing. Mx. Baxi, there was a time when we all gave preference to Ayurvedic foods or homemade food in general, but now the current generation is now inclined towards junk food or fast food per se. So, what would you suggest to those who wish to lose weight but wish to include fast food into their diet plan?
Ms. Baxi: The current generation wants everything to be ready instantly. We get food delivered to our place in just one single click! At the same time, the outside food that we consume is mostly for the taste and not for its nutritional values. In contrast to this, the homemade food that we consume is prepared with the utmost care by using our ingredients and our taste, and we do not add any preservatives to our homemade food. If you see outside food, you will find that there are many preservatives involved. Most of the outside food has high sugar, salt, and fat in them, which is not good for someone looking to have a healthy diet. It is always better to have homemade food -- even if you wish to have a burger, then try to have a homemade burger. This way, you will know that you have cooked it with the correct ingredients and have not added any preservatives to stimulate its taste.
Satvic Foods: We completely agree with you here. There are several benefits of having homemade food daily. Would you please enlighten our readers by providing them with certain ways that they can follow to ensure that the nutritional value of the homemade food remains intact?
Ms. Baxi: We should always stick to our roots! So, our Indian thali usually consists of all the right sources of carbs and protein. We generally also have vegetables in our everyday diet. Most people prefer to have curd and buttermilk in their lunch. As you see, this is all a balanced meal that benefits everyone. For good carbohydrates, you can have chapati or rice; for protein, you can have pulses. Some people prefer to add pickles to their food, which is also great, but everything has to be in moderation. So, if we have a whole meal, then it would be great for healthy living. I come across several patients who say that they wish to lose weight only by eating salad for lunch, which, in itself, is not a healthy way to lose weight. One should always have a balanced diet that will complete all their nutrition intact.
Satvic Foods: You talked about weight loss, and we come across several myths and misinformation about losing weight. People these days are so keen to lose weight that they almost stop eating. According to you, what are some of the misinformation that people blindly follow, and what are the side-effects of choosing such a diet structure?
Ms. Baxi: The most common diet plan myth that we see is when people completely abstain from eating wheat and rice. However, this is extremely wrong as our body needs carbs to sustain! I suggest to all of my clients that we should always go for diets that are sustainable, meaning something which we can follow for the long run. If we go for a keto diet, which is in trend these days, then we should know that this is not sustainable for a long time. People might follow a keto diet for a month, but then again, they will shift to a normal diet plan, which will again put their bodies into much trouble. The best way here is to have modifications in such diet plans that we can easily follow at our home.
Satvic Foods: At Satvic Foods, we come across several customers who are pregnant or are planning to have a child. Would you please suggest some basic diet structures they should follow to have a healthy pregnancy?
Ms. Baxi: At the time of pregnancy, the food consumption of any woman increases by a fold. So we have to ensure that they are consuming enough nutrients that are sufficient for them and their child. In most cases, dry fruits are very important for pregnant women as they are a good source of healthy fats. These nuts constitute additional nutrition to their diet. In addition to this, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and pumpkin seeds contain minerals and vitamins, which play a vital role in improving overall health during pregnancy. In addition to this, pregnant women should have a diet that is rich in healthy protein, like lentils or milk products. We also get several patients who tend to avoid buttermilk during pregnancy as it has a bittersweet taste to it. I need to clarify that it is a myth, and buttermilk can be added to have a balanced diet during pregnancy.
Satvic Foods: We recently had a couple of women who came forward and shared that the production of their milk increased after they started consuming our products which are rich in dry fruits and seeds. Would you please talk about some other positive changes that we see in pregnant women after they start consuming homemade diets or choose a more balanced lifestyle?
Ms. Baxi: See, our homemade food is always better as it is prepared with love and warmth. We personalize the cuisine as per our liking, which has a positive effect on our bodies. At the same time, we tend to add Indian spices to our cuisines, which are also extremely beneficial for everyone. Spices like cardamom, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon are all anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. These Indian spices are also helpful in several medical conditions. Whenever we make homemade food, we are well aware of the spices that we have added, which increases the nutritional value of our everyday cuisines.
Satvic Foods: Is there anything you would like to tell our readers about a balanced diet or how they can have a more sustainable diet moving forward?
Ms. Baxi: The most basic guidelines I would like to give here is that people should consume homemade food which should have all the food groups. We should not leave any food or vegetable groups. Always have everything in moderation and try to have some physical activity to lead a stress-free life. If you have stress, then consult it with some experts, and lastly, always have proper water intake.
Satvic Foods: Thank you so much, Ms. Baxi, for your valuable time and input.
Mx. Baxi: Thank you so much for having me here today!
We hope that our valuable readers must have understood the correct ways of following a diet plan. If you need to get in touch with Ms. Harakh Baxi, you can check her LinkedIn profile or can drop her an email by clicking here.